FIBA Asia 2015, big wins on day 2

FIBA Asia 2015It was a day of huge wins during the second game of the Preliminary Round at the FIBA Asia 2015 championship in China. All but three of the game were decided by more than twenty points, although Group D is providing the tight contests at the moment.

In Group A champions Iran stayed unblemished with a comfortable workout against India, while Japan wiped the floor in message sending fashion with Malaysia. Group B saw the Philippines smash Hong Kong by more than 50 points, before Palestine had stayed undefeated with a solid victory over Kuwait to maintain its position as a surprise package.

Hosts China were given a tough time of it by South Korea, but ultimately the 15 time champions edged a victory to stay unbeaten. Also in Group C, Jordan cruised past Singapore to register its first win of the tournament. Group D was by far the tightest today as Kazakhstan had a first quarter to remember, which was enough to defeat Taiwan. In the other contest Qatar won a marathon against Lebanon by edging a second overtime period.

Group A
Reigning champions Iran looked good again during day 2 of the FIBA Asia 2015 tournament to put one foot in the next round. The Iranians were confident in beating India comfortably 88-66 in China on Thursday, using a 27-11 lead through ten minutes to control the game. An impressive 47 points in the second half and 59% shooting from two points distance handed Iran another cruising win, and the champs are firmly on course.

Also on course is Japan, and could they provide a test for the Iranians in the next game? We will see about that, but on Thursday Japan was hugely impressive in defeating Malaysia 119-48. It was a true obliteration than opened the Japanese win account for the tournament, with the winners hugely impressive throughout. Malaysia was schooled at both ends of the hardwood and were kept to 2 points in the third act (35-2), while seven Japanese players helped themselves to double digits through the nets.

Group B
The Philippines also broke a century of points on the way to a 101-50 victory over Hong Kong in an extremely one sided FIBA Asia 2015 clash. A 51-22 lead for the Philippines through the long break made it a forgone conclusion, but the misery was further piled on Hong Kong in the third quarter, which the Philippines won 32-16. The winners were sensational off the glass as they grabbed a massive 61 rebounds, 45 of them in defence.

Palestine proved that the heroics in game 1 were not a fluke as they took apart Kuwait in game 2, coming away with a 90-69 victory. The Palestinians just looked better all over the court and Sani Sakakini proved too much for Kuwait to handle as he posted 25 points and 8 boards. Palestine had controlled large period and through thirty minutes held a cruising 75-45 lead, before Kuwait rallied in the fourth stanza to no avail.

Group C
Host nation and record title holder China got a fright from South Korea but managed to edge their contest 76-73 to stay unbeaten. Korea pushed their giant neighbours throughout, but perhaps China’s 19 offensive boards (SK grabbed just 9) made the difference as the hosts took advantage of second chance opportunities. China was trailing 60-51 through three quarters, but hit back as Korea was dogged by personal fouls (28 overall), winning the fourth act 13-25 to steal the game.

Jordan opened its account at FIBA Asia 2015 with a 98-68 win over Singapore in game 2. The Jordanian attack clicked in a big way, with six players scoring more than 10 points, including 19 points from Alex Legion and a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds from Jamal Zaghab. Jordan started hot with a 34-13 winning opening frame, and recovered from a two point drop in the second quarter (17-19) to dominate the third with a 29-13 run. From there Jordan never looked back and cruised through the fourth to victory.

Group D
Kazakhstan got on the board with a hard fought 84-73 win over Taiwan in Group D. The teams were matched all over the floor, with Kazakhstan grabbing 48 rebounds and Taiwan 45, while both outfits dished out 12 assists and added 10 steals. However, Taiwan paid the price for a cold start that let Kazakhstan take a 7-25 lead into the first split. Taiwan recovered and didn’t lose a frame after that (23-17, 16-16, and 27-26) but could never recover from that shocking opening.

In terms of sheer nail biting entertainment, the clash between Lebanon and Qatar stood out on Thursday as the Middle Eastern nations went toe-to-toe. A 100-105 score line (in favour of Qatar) and two overtime periods excited the fans and provided edge of the seat Basketball. The teams traded throughout the game and through regulation were tied 73-73 as Lebanon fought back in Q4. The lock could not be opened in the first overtime period but ultimately Qatar found the hoops that made the difference.

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